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Shae Lewis switches from silly to serious when game time comes around

By John Overby

Shae Lewis didn’t quite know what she wanted to do, but she knew she was tired of “doing nothing.”

Lewis was in eighth grade when she first discovered volleyball, and once she saw it, she had her answer. She was going to be a volleyball player.

Lewis took to the game quickly, especially serving. During her first year of playing, she was the only one on the team that could serve the ball overhanded.

And since she has consistently worked on it, she has only improved her greatest strength.

“I just kept practicing until it got better,” Lewis said.

Even now, in her senior season and first year of playing on the varsity team, it serves as her specialty.

When Head Coach Anne Mudd called her in to serve for her first varsity action, she told Lewis one thing: everyone makes mistakes.

“When Mrs. Anne told me I was gonna get in, she told me to just try your best,” Lewis said. “It helped me out a lot, made me focus. I knew I could just shake off anything after she told me that.”

Despite her innate serving ability, everything was not always smooth for Lewis.

“I was a horrible passer at first,” Lewis said. “I just kept practicing, swung a lot. Now setting is one of my favorite things to do.”

Although Lewis thinks of herself as “kind of silly at times,” Mudd has another way to describe her senior player.

“She’s an absolute sweetheart,” Mudd said. “She’s not only smart and athletic, but she’s also got one of the biggest hearts. She’s just a great all-around kid, and you don’t see that every day.”

She might be silly and sweet off the court, but Lewis likes to get her mind into a much more serious mode when it’s time to play. For her, staying focused on the task at hand is essential to winning.

She doesn’t have any tricks or gimmicks to get psyched, though. She just has a sixth sense about when she needs to “flip the switch.”

“I just know when it’s time for me to play around and know when it’s time to get serious,” Lewis said.

After she graduates in May, Lewis plans on attending the University of Louisville, where she hopes to earn a degree to become a social worker.

Lewis said she has always shown a knack for interacting with children and has already gained experience in dealing with them while working at Imagination Station, a local day care.

“I really like dealing with children,” Lewis said. “I’ve just always gotten along with them. Sometimes, people just push children off to the side, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen as much as it does.”

With the season coming to a close, Lewis already knows that she’ll miss the relationships she has formed with her teammates.

She’ll also miss how the seniors “all get along so well” and how close the team was as a whole.

But no matter how much Lewis misses the team, Mudd thinks that the team will miss Lewis even more.

“Shae is a person we need on our team, whether it’s on the floor or on the bench,” Mudd said. “She brings all of us together. She has that type of personality that just attracts everybody. She’s definitely a presence on our team that will be missed next year.”